Mighty takes on Dubai’s No. 1 in opener
Game Tomorrow (Al-Ahli gym, Dubai) 9 p.m. – Mighty Sports-PH vs Al-Ahli
Mighty Sports-Philippines has no problem with talent but whether it is enough for the team to win another international glory will be known when it faces host Al Ahli right in the opening day of the Dubai International Basketball Tournament tomorrow at Dubai’s premier sporting club.
Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu said going up against the host squad is something he wants to avoid first, but his players, especially NBA veterans Hasheem Thabeet, Dominic McGuire and Justin Brownlee, are eager to test the waters.
Despite their impressive resume, Tiu cautioned his players against complacency since Al Ahli is the current No. 1 team of Dubai with a perfect 10-0 record.
“Al Ahli is a tough team, No. 1 in their local tournament,” said the former Gilas assistant coach. “They are led by former NBA players in Sam Young and Chiekh Samb. Plus they are the home team so it should be a big challenge.”
Another challenge for the team, according to Tiu, is cohesion since the team is yet to practice in full force.
Still, Tiu is convinced they can give the opposition a good fight, and hopefully duplicate their smashing 8-game sweep of the Jones Cup in Taiwan last yeat.
“Hopefully, the mix of having some veterans and smart players will help our cohesion,” said Tiu.
The team backed by Rain or Shine and Scratch It leaves early today for the capital city of the Emirate of Dubai, and Tiu hopes they can get one good practice before colliding with a team backstopped by two NBA veterans in 7-foot-1 Senegalese Cheikh Samb and 6-foot-6 Sam Young.
After Al Ahli, Mighty Sports collides with Libya the following day, takes a break on the 19th then meet the taller and heftier Lebanese squad on Monday and ends up its elims against a rugged Moroccan squad on Tuesday.
“Chemistry is something we are still working on. We will have one complete practice before the tournament,” he added.